Editorial: May 2003

By Ellen Pearlman  |  Posted 05-01-2003

With this issue, CIO Insight celebrates its second anniversary of publication. We began with the idea of giving CIOs and other technology executives a magazine that combines extensively reported case studies on technology management and strategy with thoughtful analysis of the latest trends in information technology and corporate management, backed up with extensive research on a wide variety of technologies and issues critical to every technology executive. With growth in technology spending at a virtual standstill, it hasn't been an easy two years, for us or for our readers. That makes me doubly proud of my team, which continues to collaborate in putting together, month in and month out, a magazine we believe is the best in the business. I would also like to thank our readers for their continued support of CIO Insight, and particularly those readers who have been such a great help in making the magazine what it is today. It really is about the people.

The theme of people working together in pursuit of common business goals, and how the power of collaboration can be leveraged through information technology, pervades this issue of CIO Insight. This month's case study, by freelance technology journalist Dale D. Buss, looks at Land O'Lakes, the $6 billion Minnesota dairy farmer's cooperative that turned to collaborative logistics to fill and route shipments more efficiently. Land O'Lakes is trimming 15 percent from its annual shipping costs, despite internal and external skepticism about route-sharing. It's never easy to trust longtime competitors, or to be willing to share the information necessary to make collaborative logistics work, but the financial payoffs have been enough to convince Land O'Lakes to keep on trucking this way.

Two related technologies hold similar promise for generating cost savings and increasing productivity and revenues through collaboration: digital asset management and content management. "Water From Stone," written by staff reporter Debra D'Agostino, takes up efforts by companies to leverage and collaborate on their digital assets—video, photographs, text—by digitizing the information they use to create products, and then efficiently recombining them into new products and services. This month's Strategic Technology feature, written by contributing editor Gary A. Bolles, investigates the current limits and future potential of content management for helping companies turn their mountains of unstructured data into useful, searchable information, thus increasing employee productivity and customer satisfaction.

It's all about using information technology to aid and abet the collaborative efforts of every company. In other words, it really is about the people.